May 23, 2024

■  Rimaliza A. Opiña 

Women continue to make outstanding records in the Philippine Military Academy, the premier military institution in Asia.

For the 278-strong members of Bagong Sinag Class of 2024, seven women cadets led by the Cadet First Class (1CL) Jeneth Elumba, 24, from Surigao City, Surigao del Norte make up the top 10, three others will graduate with Latin honors, and four will receive special awards.

Elumba, who will join the Philippine Army, and members of Class of 2024 will have their graduation rites at the Borromeo Field at Fort del Pilar, Baguio City on May 18 with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. as guest of honor and speaker.

As class valedictorian, Elumba will receive the highest award granted to the second lieutenants of the Armed Forces.

These are the Presidential Saber, Philippine Army Saber, Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (Jusmag) Saber, Australian Defense Overall, Performance Award (Army) Tactics Group Award, and Army Professional plaque.

Other women in the top 10 are 1CL Cyril Joy Masculino (4th), Rosemel Dogello, Alexa Mye Valen (6th), Giselle Tong (8th), Danica Marie Viray (9th), and Neriva Binag (10th).

Like the class valedictorian, Masculino, Dogello, Valen, and Viray will join the Army service, while Tong and Binag will join the Philippine Navy.

PMA Superintendent Lt/Gen. Rowen Tolentino said this is the seventh time that a woman is the class valedictorian since the PMA started accepting women in 1993.

Three other women out of the 278 members of the class will graduate cum laude. They are 1CL Paula Joy Aviquivil, Mitzi Binamira, and Jeenela Calumba.

The rest in the top 10 are 1CL Mark Armuel Boiles (2nd), Kim Harold Gilo (3rd), and Floyd Niño Arthur Roxas (7th).

The 22-year-old Boiles, who hails from Novaliches, Quezon City, will receive the Vice Presidential Saber, Philippine Air Force Saber, Academic Group Award, Management Plaque, Air Force Professional Courses Plaque, General Antonio Luna Award, Australian Defense Overall, and Performance Award (Air Force).

Gilo, 22, of Butuan City will be awarded the Secretary of National Defense Saber, Philippine Navy Saber, Australian Defense Best Overall, Performance Award (Navy), and Natural Sciences Plaque.

Women who will receive special awards are 1CL Camille Poblete (Athletic Saber), Trisha Mae Capul (Journalism Award), Samantha Zinampan (Department of Tactical Officers Plaque), and Zita Dewi Nirvana Messakaraeng (Humanities Plaque).

Other special awardees are 1CL Leo Ralph Papagayo (Social Sciences Plaque), Emmanuel Quibal (Aguinaldo Saber), Jake Matiw (Athletic Saber), Joven Modestano (Starman), Miguel Abesamis (Navy Courses Professional Plaque), and Samuel Aldous Gloria (Chief Justice Saber).